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WFUV's Dennis Elsas Marks 50 Years in New York Radio


Dennis Elsas (Photo credit: Gus Philippas)
Dennis Elsas (Photo credit: Gus Philippas)

WFUV veteran air talent Dennis Elsas marks 50 years on New York radio this month, celebrating a colorful career that has stretched from his first overnight shift at WNEW-FM in July, 1971 to his present gigs at WFUV and SiriusXM. On Monday, July 12 at 2pm ET, Elsas will note the landmark anniversary during his afternoon show on WFUV with a four-hour, all-star special that includes highlights of favorite interviews with artists such as John Lennon, Elton John, and Joni Mitchell as well as songs that define the soundtrack of Dennis's radio career.

"I have been very fortunate to do what I love to do for 50 years, playing rock records on the radio," said Elsas. "I didn't know anything about the business of radio when I started out, but I knew I loved rock music. I listened closely to the pioneering New York DJs who brought me my favorite songs and told me about the artists behind them. I'm proud to continue that legacy."

In August, 2020, Elsas reached his 20-year milestone as a WFUV host, where he continues his daily shift from 2-6pm ET weekdays. He's also on SiriusXM, anchoring weekends on Classic Vinyl and co-hosting the weekly "Beatles Fab Fourum" on The Beatles Channel.

In addition to chats with John Lennon, Elton John, and Joni Mitchell, Elsas's 50th anniversary show on WFUV on July 12 will include some of his favorite conversations from the past five decades with folks like Pete Townshend, Ringo Starr, Jerry Garcia, Richie Havens, Roger Daltrey, Mel Brooks, Julian Lennon, Clarence Clemons, Grace Slick, Gregg Allman and others.

"Rock and roll never forgets a legendary disc jockey celebrating 50 years on New York radio, and neither does WFUV," says WFUV Program Director Rich McLaughlin. "Everyone at the station sends Dennis their warmest congratulations on his anniversary. We're grateful Dennis has called WFUV his radio home for more than two decades (and counting) of that time. On behalf of the millions of New York radio listeners you've reached and inspired over 50 years, thank you, Dennis, for sharing your passion and knowledge of rock music; for championing rock artists that changed our lives; and for connecting with us in an enduring, authentic, and meaningful way."

Elsas is also featured at Cleveland's Rock & Roll Hall of Fame's exhibit of the most influential American disc jockeys. He is the producer, co-writer, and host of a 2004 award-winning radio documentary, "It Was 40 Years Ago Today: The Beatles Invade America," which was revised in 2014 for the band's 50th anniversary of their Stateside arrival; that documentary is included in the Grammy Museum's traveling Beatles exhibit. Elsas's own multi-media show, "Rock ‘n' Roll Never Forgets," which he began in 2010, features many of his history-making interviews.

"'Rock and Roll Never Forgets' is more than just a song title to me, it's a philosophy," explained Elsas. "It sums up the relationship I have with the music and the artists, the connection I feel to my listeners, and the support I have received from them, my friends, and my family over the years."

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